INDEPENDENT legislator Christine Loh Kung-wai and industry specialists have criticised the Government for not doing enough to promote energy efficiency in buildings. According to Mary Chow, principal assistant secretary in charge of the Government's Energy Efficiency Advisory Committee, the Government hoped to introduce an amendment to the buildings ordinance in Legco. The move, in April, would pave the way for the introduction of laws relating to energy efficiency in commercial buildings. But Ms Loh said the Government was planning to introduce regulations that would not result in curtailing waste of energy in office buildings. She also criticised the Government for not including controls on lighting and air-conditioning in the proposed regulations. Ms Chow said the Government had not yet set a date for introducing building codes to control lighting and air-conditioner use, but hoped there would be a trial consultation period at the end of the year for the lighting code. She said new regulations would force users of new commercial buildings to limit the level of heat transference allowed within buildings to be measured according to overall thermal transfer values (OTTV). Under the proposed regulations, heat transference within a tower of a commercial building would be limited to 35 watts per square metre. Podiums up to 15 metres above ground level would have a higher limit of 80 watts per square metre because they were generally occupied by shopping arcades which needed natural sunlight. Ms Loh complained that the Government's recommendations merely reflected the current OTTV levels recorded in existing buildings. Ian Butler, managing director of British architects RMJM, a firm that designs ''green buildings'', agreed. He said the Government had no willpower to address the issue. Ms Chow declined to say whether the Government's OTTV proposals reflected the average for existing buildings. But she said some buildings had OTTV levels of 120 watts per sq m or more. Ms Loh said the Government was not sincere in its attempts to reduce wasteful energy consumption, because it had ''an entrenched attitude in maintaining present demand levels'' to placate electricity firms. She said: ''OTTV is much maligned. This is not really the way to monitor a building's energy efficiency, because it does not include lighting and air-conditioning costs.'' Instead, the legislator favoured using a measurement which would record total consumption of energy rather than simply the heat transference. RMJM's Mr Butler said the Government should incorporate both methods of measurement in the legislation, because that would allow more flexibility for designers. Ms Loh said the Government had not adopted the ''more aggressive'' energy consumption standard, because there was no single Government department that could scrutinise energy bills and introduce such a system. The issue of energy efficiency had ''fallen within the cracks of Government departments''. She cast doubt on the Government's ability to enforce legislation related to this issue. Colin Beck, chairman and group chief executive of RMJM, was optimistic. Interest in energy efficiency in Hong Kong had been aroused in the past three years while Britain had taken note of the need not more than 10 years ago, he said. But ''green buildings'' were increasingly commonplace in Britain. This illustrated ''what you can do when the pressure turns on. It (development of green buildings) will follow here [in Hong Kong]''. Mr Beck was on a visit to Hong Kong recently to explore RMJM's further expansion in China. RMJM has designed a number of ''green buildings'' worldwide. The Royal Hong Kong Jockey Club clubhouse in Happy Valley - where a number of energy efficiency measures were introduced - is among RMJM's projects.